While the halfway lead of the 2012 PGA Championship is split three ways at four under par, between Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Swede Carl Pettersson, it was Fiji’s Singh who signed for the only sub-70 score of the day after his morning round of 69, three under par.
Winds of up to 30mph arrived from the Atlantic this morning, and charged across the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island without relent, all day. While the average stroke score yesterday in the first round was 73.3 over the par-72 course, the average jumped almost five strokes today, finishing at 78.1.
Adam Scott got it about right when, after posting a second-round score of 75, three over par, in reckoning his score was “a par round of golf out there today”.
As the afternoon progressed, Singh’s name steadily rose up the PGA Championship leaderboard, and eventually, inevitably, reached the top.
The former world number one and winner of the PGA Championship in 1998 and 2004, as well as the Masters in 2000, Singh is 49, and is bidding to break Jack Nicklaus’ record as the oldest winner of a major championship. Nicklaus won the 1986 Masters at the age of 46.
On playing in such difficult conditions Singh said: “After a while you don’t really think about the score. You just think about each hole, each shot, and try not to mess up.
“If you had a golf course like this and you asked me to play in windy conditions, I’d say no, but this is a major and you just have to go out there and struggle and manage the best you can.”
“Vijay’s 69, that’s a serious score,” said Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who shot 76 today but remains in contention at level par for two rounds.
“I was very happy to get off that golf course, I have to say. I’m trying to think of the last time a golf course played this difficult, because it is a links wind blowing across a golf course with some of its most difficult pin positions out there. It’s brutal.
You’ve got to hang tough out there.”
“These conditions where you have to play the ball through the air play right to Vijay’s strength,” said Phil Mickelson, who shot an excellent 71 today, to sit at level par for two rounds like McDowell, and four shots off the lead. “Vijay penetrates right through the air and he’s done that his whole career.”
Story courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, official car of the 2012 PGA Championship